Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Lane Chest Makeover

BEFORE Lane chest
 It's just plain exciting when you get a well known "named" piece of furniture.  This Lane chest was in perfect condition... the fabric was dated and dirty, but otherwise the piece was practically perfect in every way!
So I went straight to the upholstery... I went through my fabric stash... which takes a looonnnggg time.  I am a fabric hoarder.  Yep I said it.  A fabricaholic.  I find what I like, unscrew the upholstery out of the top of the chest and staple on the new fabric.  Instant upgrade. 
I pull the cream out of the fabric and match it up to AHA Coastal Colors  (I happen to sell this at Mint Julep Antiques and Design & Consign Art Gallery and online at coastalstardecor.com.  I used Fiddes & Sons clear wax for a base and then Rugger Brown to antique the piece and pull out detail in the handles.
Painted Lane Chest.
Handle details
Complete Lane chest

Monday, December 22, 2014

Painted File Cabinet

 So I acquired this file cabinet in wonderful shape.  
And I had acquired new sealant called Vax and Revax that I was very excited to use!

 I used Coastal Colors SHUTTER and applied two coats.
upcycled filing cabinet
First coat paint

painted furniture
Second coat paint
 I added some light (wet) distressing on corners and pressure spots...
 I then used a layer of the Vax.  I have got to tell you, the jury is still out on the vax.  I LOVE the fact it is non toxic and NO ODOR at all.  However, you must watch endless videos, add water, use a special sponge and still pray you don't get streaks.  Here is the piece with the Pearl revax.  I love this look, especially on the Shutter color.  But note the streaks?  I have been doing this sort of thing a long time.  I am not sure that this is user friendly with my customers than only do pieces periodically.  I was very careful with the product, and did several practice pieces first. Fortunately for this piece, I like the look of the streaks...
with Pearl REvax
 I look forward to using this again by using the pearl to accent certain areas. 
The pearl adds an element that is absolutely delicious.

coastal Star decor
Completed File cabinet.
I'll keep you posted on my next VAX items... stay tuned :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Redneck Command Strip

Necessity is the mother of invention, right?  Wanted to share my fun Redneck Command Strip!  Last week we spent the weekend in our camper at the beach.  This beach is pretty remote, and during the off season honestly if you didn't bring it with you you are pretty much doing without.  I had brought Christmas decorations to dress up the space while we there, and while I was hanging Christmas lights... well I discovered I pretty much didn't have anything to attach them to!  I had some command hooks already being utilized in the camper, so I had some leftover adhesive strips... then I found some clothespins... Well, here ya go.  I was tickled at the result and thought I would share... 
REdneck Command Strip
Clothespin with command adhesive strip.

Worked just fine! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Here We Grow Again!

I am so proud to announce that I have agreed to be a Resident Artist at Mint Julep Antiques & Art in Downtown Hampton!  I am so humbled to join this wonderful group of very talented artists!   I will be on site regularly painting, holding workshops and classes.  I am also available to do custom pieces for you and help to decorate your home with artwork and murals.  I will post on Facebook when I will be in store and I hope you come to see me!  Many thanks to Susan and Diana, Mint Julep owners, for taking a chance on my crazy self and willing to put up with my shenanigans full time! 

Recycling Old Pallets, and Why I Don't Do It.

Ok, so this past weekend I had several folks come up to me and want to talk about re working the wooden pallets they have.  I feel like I need to post this because when I answered the way I did, it turns out many of them did not know this....  MANY pallets are treated with very harsh chemicals and pesticides.  They are very susceptible to critters (re:roaches) and mold.  I have heard about termites hiding in much of the wood.  I don't use pallets and never have.  
For my clients well-being and I, it is not for me. 
I am not telling you not to reuse pallets in your own designs.  But please reconsider using them IN your home and especially for your children.  I recently saw a child's bed made out of pallet wood and it worried me to pieces.    And this can be true of all reloved items.  I have to tell you this is a concern of mine.  I thoroughly clean my pieces and if I suspect any infestation... the piece is G-O-N-E.  Yes, this can happen in any reloved item, but the percentages I have read and heard about with pallets is VERY HIGH.  Unlike the occasional piece of furniture. 
If you research it, you will find that there are stamps put on pallets that are free from treatment, although that still wouldn't stop the roach, termite (or eggs) and mold from being on them.  If you are selling items made out of pallets, I think you need to disclose the info to the buyers.  Even if it is saying that it is "Certified free of chemicals" (Plus it would be a great selling point!) This is my personal opinion, and I am sure there are many special circumstances.  There are ways of knowing where your pallets comes from and where its been and I am sure there are some safe ones out there.  I am not denying others of pallet use for their art, but I do want to bring awareness.  If you have a good clean and safe source, but all means REDUCE REUSE AND RECYCLE!
Just get out there and create!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Well, Thank You, Bodacious Bazaar (Hampton, VA), you have absolutely ruined me for every other show.  It is true that I have only been doing shows for almost two years.  And in all honesty the shows that I am in are very well run and organized. One was quite the clunker but we won't talk about that one ;)

Bodacious Bazaar is quite the exception and I have to say that although I am a very tired Coastal Mermaid today... I hate that I am not waking up and going to "the show"!  How many vendors can say that after a three day event with THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of shoppers?  

Every aspect of the show was well run.  From the application process to tear down on the last night it was extremely professional.  I had first applied for the spring show in Fort Monroe.  As it turns out, my mother had unexpectedly passed away the week prior to the show.  Bodacious did not have to refund me or work with me in any way according to the contract I signed.  But when I contacted the organizer, I was assured that all is well AND had my money transferred to the fall show at my request.  No questions asked.  No grief for having missed the show.  Just sympathy and empathy that totally eased my anxiety over missing the show. 

And in case you missed my previous post, My House Looks Like a Trainwreck, But My Booth is Cute, I have to say it again... the check in and set up was a WELL OILED machine.  With over 300 quality vendors (from all over the country!) they had quite a job getting us all in... and not only did they get us in but they had volunteers to help us unload our goodies AND took them to our booths!  I still can't get over that.  As a furniture and big piece vendor... this one thanks Bodacious Bazaar for this from the bottom of my heart.  And the volunteers did NOT make me feel rushed and they treated my lovelies as their own product.  Just can't ask for more than that.  One of them even purchased from me as they unloaded me!  (Pretty good start for me)
Even Santa was on hand in his work britches. 
The show snapped a photo of me as I was setting up!

The show kicked off Friday morning with encouraging words from the organizer Sandra Gardner, who is QUITE a DYNAMO!  And then she sent us off to our booths with a prayer.  This woman speaks to my heart, I tell ya.  

But don't think that is all... all weekend Bodacious volunteers stopped by my booth to see if I needed anything.  Change?  Bathroom break?  Bite to eat?  Yes, I kid you not... they had booth sitters.  Wowzers!  They were truly there to serve their vendors.  It turns out we needed this as the show was so well advertised and marketed that entry to the venue had to be closed twenty minutes after opening Saturday morning because we had met fire code capacity.  Fire marshalls were on hand to assist the over 300 waiting in line to get in as shoppers exited.  Did I say Wowzers before? And I mean WOWZERS!

Then the wrapup...tear down... Show hours on the last day was 10-6.  When you applied, the show hours were posted.  Folks paid to get into this show... at 5:50 the guests should see what they would have seen if they were there at noon.  Mrs. Gardner had her expectations clearly listed and reiterated in writing and by speech.  And my inner rule following self cheered with glee when she charged up to a neighbor vendor at 5:45 who had pretty much packed up his entire booth.  She explained that this was against the rules and totally out of guidelines to do this.  She called him out.  And it was beautiful.  Mrs. Gardner has standards for her vendors AND her guests and this is why it is a quality show for all. 
Lots and Lots of takeaways for me as a vendor, a professional, and a Christian business owner.  So glad to have been a part of this event... and I CAN'T WAIT for the spring show in Fort Monroe.  If you are a vendor I highly recommend you apply.  It is such a great experience.  Tell them Kim from Coastal Star Decor sent you!
 Here are a few shots of my booth from the weekend.  Hope you enjoy!  Ask me about any items you may be interested in.  I am taking special orders for the trees (I ran out)  and my items will be placed at Mint Julep Antiques, Design & Consign Artisan Gallery, Poquoson Art League's Holiday Gallery, and Concrete Creations in Va Beach. 
My lovelies qued on the loading docks ready to go back to their retail stores!

No, I do not know why my lips are blue.  But these are my mermaid girls and I love them and their support!

Saturday I had great help from my BFF so I was able to do painting demos!

On Friday mermaid Laurel stopped by to help!

Added a little Christmas spirit to my booth sign ;)

 My items will be placed at Mint Julep Antiques, Design & Consign Artisan Gallery, Poquoson Art League's Holiday Gallery, and Concrete Creations in Va Beach. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My House Looks Like a Trainwreck, But My Booth is Cute.

WHAT A BUSY AND EXCITING SEASON!  Being in full time "retail" again at Christmas... well... it can be a little overwhelming!  As a small business owner, we NEED to capitalize on this time of year.  And the shows are there for the willing and able.  As many other business owners can attest, the end of the year is here and the numbers better come in!  
So there are ugly high pressure situations to every career.  Even artists.  The misconception is that artists create when they want, what they want, and can live on any money because most items are all profit.  Well, that is not exactly how it works.  There are so many expenses, and when you are growing your business, the expenses grow even larger as you reinvest.  
So the past two months have been about product for Coastal Star, along with many of my peers.  Capturing Holiday Sales.  And with this of course comes shows and retail spaces.   Less blogging, more late nights.  More shaking hands and kissing babies.  More cutting off nonproductive business relationships.  Feeding the productive ones.  And there is nothing wrong with this..." Tis the Season", right?  
Coastal Star is coming off of a very productive Seafood Festival, and this week I moved into the Poquoson Holiday Gallery, am Demoing at the Ladies Night at Ace Hardware (tonight) and I just moved into my new home for the next three days at the Bodacious Bazaar in Hampton, VA.  I have just recently moved into Design & Consign Artisan Gallery and have recommitted with Mint Julep Antiques in Downtown Hampton. 
What does this mean?  MY HOUSE IS A TRAIN WRECK!  As I moved out furniture and decor out of my barn, upstairs studio, downstairs den I see a month (er, um maybe a little more) of neglect.  Things are everywhere.  Decisions of "Should I paint one more set of glasses to get them in the oven or should I dust the den?"  Do I need to tell you which one I choose?  Dirty laundry hampers are waiting in their nice polite line at the washing machine.  Next week it is about regaining order here... and distributing inventory to retail.  
But this weekend is about FUN!  And it has already started out a winner.  Hauling furniture, I am always concerned about loading/unloading, hauling etc.  At this show, you pull in to the unloading lineup and two volunteers come out to your trailor with a cart and start unloading FOR YOU!!!  Then they took it all to my booth and unloaded it.  WHAT?!?!  AND, GET THIS... SANTA HIMSELF UNLOADED MY FURNITURE!  I found out today that I am on the GOOD LIST!  WAHOO!!!!  
These awesome volunteers saved my morning!  And my BACK!
And here are some sneak peeks of my booth this time.

Come see me!  Let me know you read the blog!  You might find yourself with a surprise!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fireplace Transformation with Coastal Colors Paint!

I got a call a few weeks ago to paint a fireplace. 
I told her I would come look at it but she needs to know that if she wants a factory finish, I am not the one for her.  She said "I've seen your work, I want you."
Wow.  Days later I go to check it out and walk into a BEAUTIFUL home.  The kind of home that makes you not want to have an open can of paint in, if you get my drift?  
But yep, there it is.  A gorgeous fireplace with gorgeous brick... but all wrong for the decor.  The owner had purchased the artwork over the fireplace and wanted it to be the focal point, not the obnoxiously rustic red brick screaming under neath it.  
So today I packed my toolbox and headed over to the client's home.  

 I prayed and prayed.  Please don't let me have an accident.  Please don't let me dump a quart of paint in this beautiful home.  Please don't let me track paint on this top grade carpet.  
You get the idea, right? 
Because we are trying to blend the fireplace into the decor, yet wanted to remember the brick, I chose Sandy Toes in Coastal Colors Beach Chic paint. It is such a yummy warm light brown... well just like sand.  Can't go wrong with that.
The owner went off for a round of tennis and left me to work.
I start on the sides and work in the cut from the walls.  I was fortunate that the owner chose to pre clean it herself.  For cleaning I get pretty expensive  ;)
 Then I went to the top and worked my way down.  Each brick I painted a coat of Sandy Toes, and then follow with a swipe from my damp rag. 

 It was here that I started hearing noises and realized I was not alone.  After some soul searching (Am I really losing my mind?)  I realized that there are birds in the fireplace!  And after a while I hear some chatter... and then they started singing to me.  I felt a little bit like Cinderella ... I captured some of the song...


The birds finally settled down and I went back to painting their nest.  I worked my way all the way down and then was done!   The fireplace now blends with the owner's decor choices and really highlights the artwork over the mantle.